Binge WatchingLatest News and Opinion
Posted Saturday 1/12/19 at 7:05AM EST
Lifetime's You is finally a buzzworthy show now that it's on Netflix
Source: The Ringer
The Penn Badgley-starring psychological thriller is the latest recipient of the Netflix bump. Even though You premiered on Lifetime on Sept. 9, it only began generating a lot of buzz after it was made available on Netflix on Dec. 26. That's why Badgley has spent the past few days responding to Twitter users who are wrongfully romanticizing his psychopathic character. In fact, You's ratings were so lackluster on Lifetime that a second season was unsustainable, which is why it will become a Netflix original series for Season 2. "It’s the exact same show, just on a different platform—and apparently, way more popular," says Alison Herman. You follows in the footsteps of shows like Breaking Bad and Riverdale that have found a larger audience on Netflix. Yet, says Herman, "as Netflix’s hold on our attention, and therefore the cultural conversation, has intensified, the relationship between networks and streaming has evolved from a mutually beneficial symbiosis into something more complicated...Why watch something live for the sake of a water cooler that doesn’t exist anymore when you know you can simply wait it out and take a show in on your own schedule?" Herman adds: "Lifetime’s role in bringing You to air seems fated to become a distant footnote in the show’s Wikipedia page and is already on its way to being buried under an avalanche of screenshots. A show skewering New York City millennials already feels more at home on an account five of them are sharing a password to than an old-school TV channel. In the process, You has become yet another data point in just how much power Netflix holds over the viewing habits of 2019 audiences, particularly younger ones."
Posted Saturday 12/22/18 at 1:51AM EST
2018 saw the emergence of a new Peak TV problem: The neverending show
Joining the problem of there being too many shows and too many streaming services is another major flaw in our Peak TV world that emerged this year: "TV just can’t let a good thing end," says Kathryn VanArendonk. "Between shows that unrolled disappointing follow-up seasons in 2018 (American Vandal, The Handmaid’s Tale), shows that premiered this year and have more to come next (Barry, Homecoming), and limited series that suddenly leapt into second seasons that haven’t even aired yet (Big Little Lies, The Young Pope), there is a common thread: Each had a perfectly complete debut season, the sort that could exist as its own satisfying story, and then they all kept going. From the standpoint of sheer bulk, unnecessary second seasons are obviously contributors to the current TV glut. They don’t need to be here, but here they are, and so we’re getting that many more hours of TV to watch. But these unnecessary second seasons are not just a problem of greed, or of a more-must-be-better ideology. They’re the result of a swinging pendulum, and a contradiction buried deep in the foundation of TV storytelling: TV shows can’t end anymore because TV shows have gotten really, really good at endings."
- How we disrupted the fun out of TV: Television has gone from a passive to an active pursuit thanks to the sheer number of shows available
- The large number of TV options is a good thing because it frees viewers from the notion that there’s anything they “should” be watching
- The best new shows of 2018: From Barry to Forever to Homecoming
- TV's best and worst moments of 2018: From Chidi being "jacked" to "Rick dies but then doesn’t"
- The year of "fine TV": 2018 was a reminder that whether something is good or bad can often be the least interesting thing about it
- The best TV musical moments of 2018: From Big Mouth's "I Love My Body" to GLOW's "Makeover"
- TV shows we quit this year: From Saturday Night Live to The Conners/Roseanne
- The 22 most shocking TV character deaths of 2018
- The 25 best TV episodes of 2018: From The Americans' "START" to BoJack Horseman's "Free Churro"
- More of TV's best episodes: From The Good Place's "Janet(s)" to Atlanta's "Teddy Perkins"
- The 10 best TV scenes of 2018
- 2018 in TV superlatives: From the best shirt on TV to the best twist to the most overt product placement
- The best TV title sequences of 2018: From A.P. Bio to Aggretsuko to Dietland and Lodge 49
- The most binge-worthy shows no one watched this year: From Kidding to America to Me to A Very English Scandal
- The best TV performances of 2018: From Jodie Komer on Killing Eve to Julia Garner on The Americans, Ozark, Maniac, Waco and Dirty John
- 12 dumb things TV did in 2018: From ABC spiking a Black-ish episode to The Simpsons' response to the Apu controversy
- The most memorable TV monsters of 2018: From Teddy Perkins to The Tuunbaq on The Terror
- The 10 best overlooked shows of 2018: From Sorry for Your Loss to Detroiters to On My Block
Posted Thursday 12/13/18 at 8:23PM EST
Netflix is testing an instant replay feature
Source: The A.V. Club
The streaming service is testing a new feature with select users that will allow them to rewatch a scene at the click of a button, according to the Los Angeles Times. Netflix says it is “just looking to learn from it and may or may not roll it out more broadly in the future.” ALSO: How Netflix's algorithm convinces viewers to watch certain shows.
Posted Tuesday 12/11/18 at 10:14PM EST
Why are Marvel series missing from Netflix's list of most binge-worthy shows of 2018?
On My Block came out on top as the No. 1 binged show on Netflix in 2018, but why aren't there any Marvel shows listed? "Netflix makes a point of indicating that the list’s rankings aren’t reflective of a show’s overall popularity, which makes one wonder what the point of publishing the list in the first place was, if that’s the case," says Charles Pulliam-Moore. "But the Marvel shows’ complete absence from the report is telling in and of itself. Depending on how you look at it, either Netflix is owning up to the fact that a lot of people are really feeling the Marvel binge fatigue, especially after a handful of seasons of rather lackluster solo series...or this could just be Netflix’s very polite way of acknowledging that its little corner of the MCU is truly coming to an end."
Posted Tuesday 12/11/18 at 3:31PM EST
Netflix names On My Block the No. 1 most binge-watched show of 2018
The streaming service has released two end-of-the-year lists, including one for "Most Binged Shows." The urban teen drama was, surprisingly, the most-binged show of the year, followed by Making a Murderer, 13 Reasons Why, Last Chance U and Bodyguard. Netflix's other list was for "Actors with the Biggest Instagram Boost." The list included Queer Eye's The Fab Five, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina's Kiernan Shipka and Hannah Gadsby.
Posted Friday 12/07/18 at 10:10PM EST
"Blank Check TV": Exorbitant spending on TV shows was the worst trend of 2018
Source: Entertainment Weekly
From Amazon's Jack Ryan to Matthew Weiner's "expensive mediocrity" The Romanoffs, "2018 was the year when big money became a kind of new normal on television," says Darren Franich. There was a time not long ago when TV was made cheap, "Hollywood cheap," when there was a clear distinction between movie money and TV money, says Franich. Not anymore. As his EW colleague Kristen Baldwin notes: "Not only is there more television than ever before, the television itself is more everything than ever — the episodes are longer, the budgets are bigger, the concepts are higher, the star wattage is brighter, the language is bluer. Bigger isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but bigger with no boundaries is. With countless networks and streaming platforms pumping out more and more content for our overtaxed eyeballs, it seems the industry’s latest strategy for breaking through the 'clutter' is a) throwing money at a recognizable name, and b) getting out of the way." Sure, some expensive series -- like Homecoming and and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel -- work, but there are too many shows that seem to be given blank checks to spend as much as possible, like Sacha Baron Cohen's Who Is America?, The Romanoffs and Apple’s entire original programming philosophy. Blank Check TV also extends to the TV show trend of "Unnecessary Helicopter" shots, which Franich calls the "single totem for the style of Blank Check television." Netflix, adds Baldwin, "continues to be a prime offender in this space, whether they’re leafblowing money at comedians to make late-night shows they’ll immediately cancel, or boring us to tears with the big-budget bombast of Lost in Space."
Posted Wednesday 12/05/18 at 10:56PM EST
As viewers are deluged with shows in the Peak TV era, TV critics must serve as curators
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
"People don't watch TV or even read about it in the same way they used to, so catering to an overwhelmed audience is paramount," says Tim Goodman. He adds: "The new reality of television (and television criticism), is that seasons and premiere dates are pretty meaningless. This Peak TV glut of shows — where so many of them are excellent and worthwhile — has long since drowned the average viewer. They are perpetually behind. And they live in a world of streaming services and on-demand options that make it OK to be behind. People are finding series from two years ago today. Others are waiting for today's buzzed-about series to not only finish its season so they can binge it (assuming it didn't drop a full season all at once on a streaming platform in the first place), but also to hear if there's a second season in the works before they bother watching. Viewers have so many options now that almost nothing, excepting live sports or major breaking news coverage, is going to motivate them to watch live. Something new — a premiere! — honestly, who the f*ck cares? Add it to the pile of things to watch later."
Posted Friday 11/09/18 at 10:34PM EST
Will Homecoming popularize the the 30-minute drama?
Source: The New York Times
"With today’s expansive TV drama installments typically running an hour (or more), each episode of Homecoming felt like a gift certificate for 30 extra minutes of sweet, unencumbered life," says James Poniewozik. "Thirty more minutes to work, to sleep or — why not? — watch a second episode. "They were no less captivating for being short. They may have even been better. Somewhere in its history, TV formalized the idea that drama is a marathon and comedy a sprint. Network schedules established sitcoms at 30 minutes, with commercials; dramas — with early exceptions like most seasons of The Twilight Zone — settled in at 60." Now Homecoming is part of a welcome trend of half-hour dramas that include Maniac, The OA and Vida. ALSO: To watch a half-hour drama in 2018 is to fling yourself into the unknown.
Posted Friday 11/02/18 at 10:48PM EDT
Why aren't there more shows designed to put you to sleep?
Source: The Outline
"It hasn’t been that long that we’ve had devices to crawl into bed with, and it’s been even less time that we could pull up any kind of content we wanted on a screen in order to fill the very particular need of 'content we can fall asleep to,'" says Casey Johnston. "Our parents pioneered the concept of falling asleep to TV, but they had little other than late night shows and probably whatever “video cassettes” made up their paltry collection. Even five years ago, bedtime TV mostly meant scraping something up from network websites or the paltry Netflix offerings, or having planned ahead and downloaded a season or two of a show or two. Those seasons still mostly aired painstakingly, episode by episode, drib-drabbing out each week instead of bursting fully formed onto a streaming platform as they do seemingly a hundred times a year now across Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and various other streaming services."
Posted Saturday 10/20/18 at 2:43AM EDT
Streaming TV has opening weekends, too -- which Netflix has dominated
Source: The Ringer
"Streaming television’s sheer density has created a sort of small-screen parallel to the film industry concept of opening-weekend box office," says Alison Herman. "What’s at stake in the crucial first few days of a show’s lifespan isn’t revenue; as television executives are quick to remind us, streaming is all about the long game, investing in a show so that it will linger in the archives in perpetuity. But the overwhelming volume of Peak TV creates a now-or-never feeling of scarcity when it comes to another finite, all-important resource: audiences’ attention. It’s a more intangible competition than the hard numbers of a box office gross, yet it’s one where Netflix seems to be at a definite, possibly insurmountable advantage."
Posted Tuesday 10/09/18 at 12:15PM EDT
The first case of "Netflix addiction" surfaces in India
An unidentified man reportedly checked into India’s National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences after consuming seven hours of Netflix a day, resulting in eye strain, fatigue and disturbed sleep.
Posted Tuesday 9/25/18 at 6:56PM EDT
CBS All Access will drop No Activity's entire second season at once
The Tim Meadows cop comedy will become the first CBS All Access series to be available for immediate binge-watching when Season 2 drops on Thanksgiving Day.
Posted Saturday 9/08/18 at 12:54AM EDT
Watching bad TV with your significant other is a classic sign that you’re in a rut
Here are tips for avoiding bad television that could doom your relationship.
Posted Friday 9/07/18 at 5:04PM EDT
Obama tells young people: "Don't binge on whatever it is you're bingeing on"
Source: TV Guide
The former president gave his most pointed speech since leaving office Friday, urging students at the University of Illinois to vote in November's midterms -- and to avoid binge-watching. Obama's comments come four months after he and wife Michelle Obama signed a production deal with Netflix, the company most identified with binge-watching. "Don't hashtag. Don't get anxious," he said. "Don't retreat, don't binge on whatever it is you're bingeing on. Don't lose yourself in ironic detachment. Don't put your head in the sand. Don't boo. Vote! Vote!"
Posted Tuesday 8/28/18 at 1:48PM EDT
Guy Pearce: Netflix instructed us not to talk about binge-watching while promoting The Innocents
“I don’t think Netflix likes the term ‘binge,'” Pearce said on the Empire Film podcast, according to Indiewire. “When we did the promotion for (The Innocents) in the (United States), we were strictly sort of instructed beforehand not to talk about ‘binge-watching.'”